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Happy Lunar New Year! Celebrate with cupcakes and a 5k run

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012, at 08:42AM
via Flickr- The Flying Enchilada

A dragon from a previous year's Chinatown parade.

More than 125,000 people are expected Downtown this weekend for the Golden Dragon Parade, where floats, bands, decorated cars and Disney characters will be dancing through Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

​According to the L.A. Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the new year holiday is the most celebrated holiday of the year for the nearly 1.5 million people of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent who live in Southern California; and Downtown has one of the largest parties in the country.

This weekend will include booths from LA Craft Experience (LACE); a local group of designers, arts and crafts makers and clothing merchants that specialize in handmade or niche goods.

Besides the traditional Chinese dishes served at Downtown's staple spots, L.A.'s ever-popular "gourmet" food trucks will also make an appearance. Even the Food Network's show Cupcake Wars will be there, with 1,000 Chinese New Year-themed cupcakes in hand.

The Lunar New Year Festival is this weekend at Central Plaza on North Broadway. On Saturday, festivities go from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The annual Golden Dragon Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

You'll have two weeks to digest all the dumplings, noodles and cupcakes before the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5 and 10K run. Taking place on February 11 and 12, this event also includes a bike ride and a "1k Kiddie Run."

These weeks of celebration help to kick off the Year of the Dragon. In Asian traditions, the dragon is sacred and symbolizes strength, luck and new beginnings.

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